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Thursday, April 20, 2017, 00:11

Bay area cities ‘should develop own strengths’

By Zhou Mo

HONG KONG - Cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area should cooperate with each other to maximize their own advantages in building the city cluster, Hong Kong and Guangdong leaders said on Wednesday.

Hong Kong’s economic structure is different from that of other cities in the city cluster, which offers the special administrative region an opportunity to make complementary development, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said.

Financial and professional service industries have developed rapidly in Hong Kong – the former account for 18 percent of its GDP and the latter 5 percent, Leung said.

“These are the two sectors Hong Kong can make contributions in its cooperation with other cities in the Greater Bay Area,” he said.

Leung made the remarks at a meeting with Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui in Guangzhou, capital of the province, on Wednesday.

The CE is leading a delegation of senior officials and business leaders on a three-day visit to six cities – Guangzhou, Foshan, Zhaoqing, Jiangmen, Zhongshan and Zhuhai – in the Greater Bay Area, starting from Wednesday.

Apart from advantageous industries, Leung said the city’s unique role also lies in its high degree of internationalization.

The city’s economic, social and legal system is well connected with the world and it has a large pool of international talent. Cultural links between the city and other countries are strong.

Hong Kong’s development over the past 30 years or more can be attributed to the reform and opening-up on the mainland, which has not only promoted the city’s economic growth but also helped diversify its industries, Leung pointed out.

“With the Greater Bay Area, I believe cooperation between Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong province will enhance to a new level,” he said.

Ma said infrastructure cooperation between Guangdong and Hong Kong has made great achievements, with several large-scale projects under way, including Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

Science and technological cooperation has also achieved remarkable progress, the governor added.

“Now, time for closer cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao has come,” Ma said.

He said the core issue in the development of the city cluster is to achieve a sound flow of people, goods and capital.

Ma also stressed the importance of complementary development of different cities by giving play to their own advantages and urged good planning of various function areas.

The development blueprint of the Greater Bay Area was laid out by Premier Li Keqiang when he delivered the Government Work Report to the National People’s Congress last month.

The 56,500 square kilometer bay area covers 11 cities – Hong Kong and Macao SARs and the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing in Guangdong province.

With a population of 67.7 million, the region has an annual GDP of $1.3 trillion.

sally@chinadailyhk.com

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